Assessment tools are often used to determine what and how well a student is learning. The information yielded by assessments helps build accountability, shapes funding decisions, and measures the effectiveness of specific interventions and programs. WhyTry has developed a free assessment tool (WhyTry Measurement-R) to help you assess the WhyTry Program in your school or setting. We also recommend the use of third party assessment tools, such as the Nowicki-Strickland assessment (below), and any other assessment tools you deem appropriate for your specific setting.
When distributing assessment surveys to students, you may consider reading each item out loud for students who have difficulty reading. If a student needs help with writing, complete the assessment one on one. Make sure students know that their answers are completely private and that there are no right or wrong answers. When students have completed the survey, have them turn their papers upside down, collect the surveys, and return them to the key person in a sealed envelope by the end of the day.
The WhyTry Measure R is a pre/post test designed to measure youth's knowledge of the WhyTry curriculum, decision making skills, locus of control, resistance to peer pressure, positive self-concept, self-control, and access to support systems. Desired outcomes of the WhyTry Program are to improve academic performance and behavior. Research has consistently linked increased internal locus of control with greater academic success and positive behavior. Improvement in the WhyTry Measure R has paralleled improvement on a well-respected measure, indicated via excellent concurrent validity with the Nowicki-Strickland locus of control.
The Nowicki-Strickland is considered an excellent assessment of locus of control for adults and youth. Research has shown those with a high internal locus of control have better control of their behavior than those with a high external locus of control. Research has suggested locus of control is a predictor of grades and a decrease in discipline. Those with a high internal locus of control are more likely to assume that their efforts will be successful. They are more active in seeking information and knowledge concerning their situation.*
*Note: Errors were found in the Nowicki-Strickland scoring instructions. As of December 17, 2013, these errors have been corrected, per the original Nowicki-Strickland instrument (Nowicki, S. & Strickland, B. (1973). "A locus of control scale for children", Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 40(1), 148-154). We apologize for any errors in data collection this may have caused.
Implementation fidelity is the extent to which an intervention is consistent with the designed method of delivery. In other words, is the implementation tool (in this case, the WhyTry Program) being used the way it was designed to be used? Fidelity is also important when evaluating program effectiveness. A fidelity instrument has been developed and used to assess overall program fidelity and compare across sites. Program fidelity will be measured in four primary characteristics: 1) dose/exposure; 2) adherence to the program; 3) participant responsiveness; and 4) quality of program delivery.
WhyTry encourages the use of a data-driven program to help our youth achieve academically, socially, and emotionally. Response to Intervention and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support are recommended frameworks for implementing WhyTry as an intervention tool. WhyTry can be used for all three intervention tier levels. Some sites utilize the WhyTry Program with a combination of tiered interventions. Each site is advised to assess the needs of their population, discipline practices, assets, and resources.